After GCSE results were published, the lecturers' union warned that many pupils whose results in GCSEs are not so good may loose any chance for further education because colleges are more likely to take high educated students who failed to enter university this year. According to the University and College Union (UCU), this will increase the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training (Neets).
According to recently revealed figures in custom papers, more than a quarter of students applying to universities this year will fail to get a university place. The number of applicants searching in clearing is 187,488 this year while last year this number was only 141,130. Regarding the courses, only 18,000 courses have vacancies as many places are reserved for foreign students.
Ed Balls, the shadow education secretary, says that in result of such a fierce competition this year, a "lost generation" of young people may appear soon. Labour is expected to extend the so-called "September guarantee" for three years but Ed Balls considers that the coalition will fail to fulfill its pledge and students who will start taking a two-year course this autumn may face the funding withdrawn in a year.
Dan Taubman, further education policy officer at UCU, said that nearly 200,000 students with A-levels who fail to get a university place this year would probably apply for BTec and HNDs qualifications: "Schools and colleges are to a large extent judged to be a success or failure on their exam results. That's a big incentive not to take kids who have just failed. It's just like the universities – they can be more selective, and the kids without are not going to get in."
The shadow education secretary says that young people are working harder than ever to get a place at university this year but "this government is quickly pulling away the ladder of opportunity from thousands of them".